Due to a canceled meet in Nevada last week due to weather, Woodward-Granger cross country hadn’t had competed since Sept. 26. This week, the Hawks made up missed time with back-to-back meets Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 7-8.

First at the Adair County Fairgrounds and second with as an added team to Perry’s Leon Fox Invitational, W-G was put through the wringer against a wide range of competition and course difficulty.

In Adair, the Hawks boys came in sixth among 16 programs and the girls 12th among 13 schools. The competition in Perry was similarly stiff for the girls side, taking ninth among 10 teams. The Hawks boys clawed to eighth overall.

Hawks senior Dylan Steele remains at the top for the Hawks as he fought to a 19 minute 0 second time, good for 20th overall. In the 28th slot the previous day, he paced 18:47 for a season peak time. Alex Bice saw a similar drop in time from one meet to the next and held to 37th an 46th respectively but maintained a time under 20 minutes each round.

Running in Perry, the Hawks ran in a small pack near Bice as the next four runners came with the next nine slots, all grabbing times under 20:30. That was the same story in Adair but 15 seconds faster on fresher legs. The girls bucked that trend by improving a number of times from day-to-day.

Senior Natalie Helbling cruised in first for W-G at 25:19 on Monday and held to 25:42 the next day for the top time each meet. But sophomore Katie Grell went from 26:32 to 26:21 in Perry to jump from 81st to 67th place with the team’s second-fastest time. Similarly, freshman Madisyn Mann finished sixth among Hawks runners Monday (28:56) but rocketed to second on the team Tuesday (26:21). Makenzie Dresback also made a six second improvement.

W-G gets a nice break before the next race Thursday, Oct. 17 at Panorama.